3-15 October 2016
Reviewed by Catherine Joyce
It is a long time since I saw the film Ghost, I first saw it at the cinema where it was a huge hit and I have seen it many times since. When we were asked to go and review the stage version at Blackpool Opera House I did wonder how the film would be transformed into a musical. In the film there are many different locations and special effects, such as ghosts rising from dead bodies or walking through doors, which whilst commonplace in films would be difficult to achieve on stage in front of a live audience.
I have to say we were very impressed with how they did this, the massive stage at the Opera House was transformed from an airy Brooklyn loft apartment to a menacing subway station and a busy Manhattan bank in a flash. Clever lighting and sound effects were used to enhance the scenes and also create the special effects required for Sam’s time as a ghost. Part of the creative team is magician Richard Pinner and his skills as an illusionist were clear to see. The ghosts rising from dead bodies was very skilfully done, with the dead body staying on stage as the ghost appeared and left the stiff body behind.
The original film famously included the song Unchained Melody, this tune is used as a recurring theme throughout the night with a beautiful and moving duet at the end. The other songs, written by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, whilst not as memorable as Unchained Melody, were perfectly written to tie in with the story and were performed by a very talented cast, supported by an orchestra lead by Tim Whiting.
Last night saw Sarah Harding replaced by Kelly Hampson who stepped into the role of Molly effortlessly. Andy Moss (better known as Rhys from Hollyoaks) played the role of Sam very well and showed what a talented actor and singer he is. For us, and the rest of the audience, the star of the night had to be Jacqui Dubois who took on the role of psychic Oda Mae. She brilliantly reprised Whoopi Goldberg’s character and added real humour to the evening with the audience in stitches every time she was on stage.
I was surprised by how much the play followed the original story, often when films are adapted for the stage the story is over simplified but this is not the case in this musical. The costumes were great, with Oda Mae in her extravagant finery and Sam in a Swayze-esque red open necked shirt, both reminders of the 1990 hit.
We had a fantastic evening out and is a must for anyone who enjoyed the film.
Tickets cost from £19.50 to £39.50 (booking fees may apply).
Ghost the musical is at the Blackpool Opera House until 15 OCtober 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 856 1111.
Winter Gardens & Opera House Theatre, 97 Church Street, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 1HL